How We Can Effectively Engage Men in the D&I Agenda

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“Gender equality is not a zero-sum game… it is a win win for everyone. And what we also know is we cannot fully empower women and girls unless we engage boys and men.”

Michael Kimmel, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

We recently published a Creating Inclusive Cultures Report based on learning points and actions taken in partnership with our CIC partners across all our regions. 

The report examines several key diversity and inclusion issues. A key focus for our Manchester forum was how we can engage men in the D&I agenda to better understand the issues some women are facing in the workplace. Hosted by CIC partners, Mercer, the Manchester forum provided us with insightful discussions, key learnings and practical actions.

It was recognised that gender inequalities are everywhere, embedded in systems and structures via policies and decision-making practices such as promotions, processes and pay agreements and informally through norms and customs.

CIC partners agreed that as the business world continues to be dominated by men in senior roles and on decision making boards, organisations needed to get more men engaged in the agenda to create change.

Practical Actions included:

  • Ensuring the business case for diversity was well understood.
  • Focussing on demonstrating and delivering inclusive leadership.
  • Training all managers to call out inappropriate behaviour.
  • Highlighting that inclusive policies such as flexible working is for everyone.
  • Encouraging men who use these policies to share their experiences; making it business as usual.

Mercer have done some considerable work to engage men in the D&I agenda and to break down some of the misconceptions about gender diversity. The full CIC report covers what has been achieved so far via their Engaging Men Forum and insights on how to tackle inequalities in the workplace through new processes to ensure more equitable distribution of opportunity.

CIC Partners can read the full report. For more information. please get in touch with Programme Director, Fiona Triller